The ongoing support of a digital mine is not something that should be ignored. A properly designed, deployed, and tuned wireless network requires a conscious effort. Keeping the network in a peak-operating state requires trained resources who understand the challenges of wireless networks within an ever changing environment.
Ongoing support can mean many things to different people. The most popular views are broken up into three categories: Collaborative approach; hands-off approach; in-sources approach.
Supporting your site through collaboration
A collaborative approach is the most common method found in our industry whereby an individual or team is hired who can handle day to day tasks, troubleshooting, and resolution of issues as they occur.
We consider these staff to be “Site Champions”. A properly trained site champion is critical to the success of the network, because they often know the ins/outs of their environment, have intimate knowledge of their dispatch system, are aware of maintenance issues with their fleet, and understand the mine progression. A site champion can leverage a 3rd party resource, such as 3D-P, to help troubleshoot/resolve intricate problems and provide additional support/advice as needed.
You can think of this third party resource as an insurance policy. You may not need that policy every day, but when it’s needed, you’ll be very happy to have had it.
Delegating support of your site
A hands-off approach is less commonly seen. This approach would typically be seen at two extremes in the industry; extremely large mines, or incredibly small mines.
A small mine may not have the budget or ability to hire a full-time technician to manage their network on a day to day basis. The mine may have a resource assigned to the task, but that individual typically wears many hats and may not be trained on the ins/outs of how to properly manage the network, or are too busy to give the network the attention it requires.
Although rare, a large mine may opt to outsource their day to day support and management of the wireless network to a 3rd party (or multiple 3rd parties). This approach is typically done so that the best resources can be tasked with the roles best suited for them, allowing the mine to do what they do best; mining!
In situations like this, support solutions are typically tailored to your needs. Whether you need deployment of a Managed Services solution, a dedicated trained resource(s) on site, or simply scheduled site visits to assist with day to day management of the network, leveraging a third party can help with mine planning and provide suggestions on ways to efficiently augment coverage as the mine progresses.
Imagine the value of having a dedicated support resource that has become your site champion – intimately knowing the ins/outs of a site, or of a regular technician who doesn’t need safety training each time they come to site, and is already familiar with your network. These options can be invaluable.
In-sourcing support of your site
An in-sourcing model is typically the most expensive option, and is typically found among the Tier 1 miners of the world. The intent of this approach is to hire the necessary staff to handle design, tuning, optimization, and support of their mine(s).
This approach, although effective for some companies, can often limit perspective and narrow one’s focus. Leveraging the experience of a third party communication company that understands mining can elevate your wireless network from “just getting by” to exceeding expectations and requirements. The idea isn’t to take away from the efforts or abilities of the in-sourced team, rather to add some mining specific skill set and knowledge to the teams’ tool kit.
Put your trust in a team that focuses on one thing: outdoor industrial wireless networks. We have the personnel, experience, know-how, and the ability to address wireless network challenges that are regularly experienced in mines. Whether providing scalable remote support options, dedicated resources, or by providing onsite personnel, 3D-P has the expertise to elevate your network to the next level, and/or help plan for future upgrades that may be necessary as technologies improve, all while keeping it functional through the inevitable challenges which are faced everyday.
To learn more about our support options, contact us today.